If you really want to know what the Wisconsin controversy is about, follow the money:
The fight in Wisconsin has focused on collective-bargaining rights, but that is not the main event. As Daniel DiSalvo of the City College of New York-CUNY notes in a Weekly Standard article, 24 states either don’t allow collective bargaining for public workers, or permit it for only a segment of workers. Even if Walker prevails, Wisconsin will allow more wide-ranging collective bargaining than these states.
Not to mention the federal government. Obama may lecture Walker about union rights, but he can go straight to Congress with a highly political proposal to freeze the pay of federal workers because they can’t collectively bargain for wages or benefits.
No, the most important measure at stake in Wisconsin is the governor’s proposal for the state to stop deducting union dues from the paychecks of state workers. This practice essentially wields the taxing power of the government on behalf of the institutional interests of the unions. It makes the government an arm of the public-sector unions. It is a priceless favor.
Wisconsin doesn’t collect dues for Elks lodges or the NRA. What makes these organizations different from public-sector unions is that people freely choose to join them and freely choose to pay their dues. They are truly voluntary organizations that don’t rely on the power of the state for their well-being. Walker wants to give members of public-sector unions a measure of this same autonomy. Wisconsin Is About Breaking Up the Union Racket – Rich Lowry – National Review Online.
As a former teacher, I can testify that when I asked if I could just pay the portion of dues that went to actual collective bargaining but not the part to political activism (as was my right under the law), I was basically told to go screw myself. The union wanted its full pound of flesh so that they could donate money to politicians and causes that the leadership favored, even though these people/groups were in almost every case diametrically opposed to my beliefs.
If you want to know the truth, follow the money!